Colorado Advances to Second Round with 6-4 Win over Ontario
Colorado forward Cedric Pare netted a pair of goals, while Alex Galchenyuk, Oskar Olausson and Sam Malinski also posted two-point nights, as the Eagles defeated the Ontario Reign 6-4 on Friday.
The win completed a two-game sweep of the Reign and now advances Colorado to the second round of the 2023 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. The Eagles finished the game by going 2-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Goaltender Justus Annunen earned his second-consecutive victory of the postseason, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced.
Andersson would kick off the scoring just 2:20 into the contest when he belted home a shot from the bottom of the left-wing circle, giving the Reign an early 1-0 edge.
Colorado would generate an answer less than two minutes later when forward Kale Kessy won a goal-mouth scramble and stuffed the puck past Ontario goalie Cal Petersen, leveling the score at 1-1.
With the game still deadlocked at 1-1 as the puck dropped on the second period, the Eagles would claim their first lead of the game when Olausson followed up a drive to the net by Galchenyuk and fed home a rebound at the top of the crease. The tally was Olausson’s first goal of the postseason and gave Colorado a 2-1 advantage at the 11:04 mark of the middle frame.
The lead would grow less than five minutes later when forward Ryan Wagner fired a wrister from the left-wing circle that would glance off the glove of Petersen and into the back of the net, putting the Eagles on top, 3-1. Colorado would thwart a variety of chances for the Reign late in the period, as the Eagles carried a 3-1 advantage into the second intermission.
The third period would see the scoring open up for both sides, with each team lighting the lamp on three different occasions. The outburst would start when forward Charles Hudon blasted home a one-timer on the power play to push Colorado’s lead to 4-1 at the 7:24 mark of the final frame.
Ontario would answer back less than two minutes later when a subsequent Eagles power play saw Reign forward Aidan Dudas snap home a shorthanded wrister from the slot to slice the deficit to 4-2.
With the power play still in effect, Colorado would punch back when Pare beat Petersen with a shot from the left-wing circle to put the Eagles on top 5-2 at the 10:01 mark of the period.
Ontario would pull Petersen in the final three minutes of the contest, and the move would pay dividends. First, forward Nate Thompson poked home a loose puck in the crease to trim the deficit to 5-3 with 1:54 left to play in the game. Just 28 seconds later, Andersson would fire the puck from behind the cage, off the back of Annunen and into the back of the net, making it a 5-4 game with 1:26 still remaining.
Colorado would finally turn the tide when Pare tucked home an empty-netter from center ice to give the Eagles a 6-4 lead at the 19:53 mark of the period.
The Eagles will be back in action when they continue their 2023 Calder Cup Playoff run against a still-to-be-determined opponent in a best-of-five, Divisional Seminal Series. Tickets for all home playoff games are on sale now. You can find more information by visiting ColoradoEagles.com or by calling the ticket department at (970) 686-7468.
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